The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.

Fisher Fine Arts Library Rare Book Room

The Fisher Fine Arts Library's rare books room, formally called the Perkins Rare Books Library, is a collection of monuments of architectural publishing.

Two shelves filled with rare books.

About the Fisher Fine Arts Library Rare Book Room

It holds approximately three thousand rare books as well as drawings and historic maps. The original collection was established in 1965 by G. Holmes Perkins who served as Dean of Penn's Graduate School of Fine Arts (as it was known then) from 1951 to 1971.

Collection materials may be requested using a Special Collections Research Account. After creating an account, you may request materials directly from our catalog.

After receiving your request, a staff member will contact you to schedule an appointment. Please wait for confirmation before visiting the reading room.

Where to print, copy, scan

Accordion List

up to 10, depending on class need

No food or drink is allowed when viewing our special collections.

Location and Accessibility


For Wheelchairs

  • Sufficient doorway & hallway clearance
  • Clearance to approach table


  • Natural and/or non-fluorescent light

Nearby Bathrooms

The accessible restrooms are on the Lower Level.

  • Go to the Main Reading Room on the first floor. Exit through the turnstile. Turn left to the elevator and take the elevator to the Lower Level.  
    1st floor plan showing the elevator
  • On the Lower Level, from the elevator, turn right to the bathrooms. For the women's room, turn right again around the water fountain. 
    Lower Level floor plan

Accessible Entrance

Fisher accessible entrance

Directions to the accessible entrance:   Word   |   PDF